U.S. Bank has selected three standout young Minnesotans as the inaugural members of its Future Leaders program: Contessa Boorman of Woodbury, Chris Casey of Eagan and Dominique Jones of Rochester. As Future Leaders, Boorman, Casey and Jones will have the opportunity to network with national business leaders and represent the state at the big game coming to U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4, 2018.
Future Leaders is part of U.S. Bank's Community Possible platform, which focuses the bank's giving and volunteerism efforts toward creating opportunities in Work, Home and Play. Boorman, Casey and Jones were selected for actively demonstrating the cognitive, social and emotional benefits of play, and making their community a better place as a result. The bank plans to expand the program to other markets, with similar ties to marquee events.
"We believe in the power of play, which brings joy, stimulates creativity and innovation, helps with problem-solving and builds relationships," said Reba Dominski, chief corporate social responsibility officer for U.S. Bank. "Congratulations to Contessa, Chris and Dominique. It is our privilege to shine the spotlight on these deserving young leaders as the world turns its attention to Minnesota."
Boorman has always made time for play. In high school, she worked three jobs to help her family make ends meet after, nearly simultaneously, her mother was diagnosed with cancer and her father lost his job. But all the while, she remained involved in theater and music and kept an eye on the future. Today Boorman is a business student at the University of Minnesota and founder of its President's Emerging Scholars Student Board, a group dedicated to creating personal and professional development opportunities for students of multicultural and disadvantaged backgrounds. Now, nearing graduation, she hopes Future Leaders will kick-start her aspiration to change the world as an entrepreneur.
"I am passionate about social entrepreneurship because it is such an open-ended career path that innovates positive change and benefits everyone involved," said Boorman. "I hope to learn more from [the Future Leaders program] to formulate new ways of thinking regarding how to build a successful and well-rounded business in the future."
Casey gives his own time to help make others' lives better through play. From an early age, he has given back to his community, most recently teaching baseball fundamentals to youth and at-risk youth at Minnesota Twins Youth Camps and leading activities for adults with disabilities at River Valley Project Explore. He credits his grandfather, who unsuccessfully ran for public office several times, as a role model for community involvement and perseverance. Today, Casey serves in student government at St. Olaf College and, as an economics major, hopes that Future Leaders will be an opportunity to learn from the business side of the big game.
"I feel fortunate to have grown up in a great state like Minnesota where a rich culture exists of people helping others," said Casey. "Whether it is meeting professional athletes or [business leaders], this opportunity will allow me to learn from impactful people. Each person has a unique perspective that could steer me on a career path that could help me land in a spot where I can make the greatest difference for others."
Jones leads others through play. He moved around a lot during his childhood and never quite had the opportunity to fit in – becoming a target for bullying. It wasn't until high school that he found the performing arts, where he realized he finally felt comfortable fully expressing himself. Today, the Rochester Community and Technical College graduate channels that passion into his job leading youth as a counselor at the Boys & Girls Club of Rochester, and is active in the community writing, performing and teaching the arts to a wide range of age groups. He hopes Future Leaders will provide a platform to help others express their true, authentic selves.
"The mountains of our goals are never the easiest to climb," said Jones. "However, I am confident that I will make the trek to the top, especially with the help of [the Future Leaders program]. And I will reach that peak with the intention of bringing others with me."
U.S. Bancorp, with 73,000 employees and $459 billion in assets as of September 30, 2017, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the fifth-largest bank in the United States. The Minneapolis-based bank blends its branch and ATM network with mobile and online tools that allow customers to bank how, when and where they prefer. U.S. Bank is committed to serving its millions of retail, small business, wealth management, payment, wholesale and securities services customers across the country and around the world as a trusted financial partner, a commitment recognized by the Ethisphere Institute naming the bank a 2017 World's Most Ethical Company. In 2016, U.S. Bank contributed $54.2 million to nonprofit organizations across the country through the U.S. Bank Foundation and corporate contributions. Additionally, employees donated more than 219,000 volunteer hours creating opportunities at work, home and play across the country. Visit U.S. Bank online or follow on social media to stay up to date with company news.
Susan Beatty, U.S. Bank Public Affairs and Communications